Watch Monster Truck Stunts and Races Live Online
Monster Truck: The Ultimate Off-Road Vehicle
If you are a fan of big, loud, and powerful vehicles, you might have heard of or seen a monster truck. A monster truck is a specialized off-road vehicle that can perform amazing stunts and crush anything in its path. But how did monster trucks come to be? What are the main events and competitions for them? And what are the benefits and challenges of playing with toy trucks? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.
What is a monster truck and how did it evolve?
The definition and features of a monster truck
A monster truck is a vehicle that is usually styled after a pickup truck, but with modifications such as a heavy duty suspension, four-wheel steering, large-displacement V8 engines, and oversized tires. According to Wikipedia, a competition monster truck is typically 12 feet (3.7 m) tall, and equipped with 66-inch (1.7 m) off-road tires. Monster trucks are constructed for competition and entertainment uses, such as racing, freestyle, car-crushing, and stunt driving.
The history and development of monster trucks
Monster trucks developed in the late 1970s and came into the public eye in the early 1980s as side acts at popular motocross, tractor pulling, and mud bogging events, where they were used in car-crushing demonstrations. The first monster truck ever built was Bigfoot, created by Bob Chandler in 1975. He modified his Ford F-250 pickup with larger tires and suspension until it became the biggest truck around. He later added four-wheel steering and other features to make it more agile and powerful.
Other truck owners followed suit and created their own monster trucks, such as USA-1 by Everett Jasmer, Bear Foot by Fred Shafer and Jack Willman Sr., and King Kong by Jeff Dane. These trucks competed for the title of "biggest truck" and attracted national attention. In 1981, Bigfoot made history by driving over a row of cars in front of a crowd, which sparked the popularity of car-crushing as a spectacle. In 1982, USA-1 became the first official national champion of monster truck racing, beating Bigfoot in a series of races organized by TNT Motorsports.
Since then, monster trucks have evolved into purpose-built vehicles with tube-frame chassis and fiberglass bodies rather than metal. They have also increased their performance and capabilities, such as jumping over obstacles, doing backflips, wheelies, doughnuts, and more. Monster trucks have also become a global phenomenon, with events held in many countries around the world.
What are the main events and competitions for monster trucks?
The types and formats of monster truck shows
Monster truck shows typically have two main events: a race and a freestyle stunt driving competition. Races are conducted as a single-elimination tournament on short, symmetrical tracks, which may include obstacles such as junk cars or dirt mounds. The length and complexity of the track can vary with the size of the venue, with courses in indoor arenas typically being shorter with fewer obstacles.
In freestyle events, each driver puts on a performance consisting of stunts such as obstacle jumps, backflips, wheelies, and doughnuts. A panel of judges assign points to each performance and the driver with the most points is declared the winner. Freestyle events are usually the final competition of a show, as damage to the trucks would make them unable to race.
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Some shows may also feature other supporting events, such as motocross, mud bogging, ATV racing, or demolition derbies. Some shows may also have a "pit party" where fans can meet the drivers and see the trucks up close before or after the show.
The famous and popular monster trucks and drivers
There are many monster trucks and drivers that have gained fame and popularity over the years. Some of the most notable ones are:
Bigfoot: The original and most famous monster truck, created by Bob Chandler in 1975. It has won 28 national championships and set many records, such as the first monster truck to crush cars, the first to complete a full rotation backflip, and the first to jump over a Boeing 727 airplane. It has also appeared in many movies, TV shows, and video games.
Grave Digger: One of the most iconic and successful monster trucks, created by Dennis Anderson in 1982. It is known for its black and green paint scheme, red headlights, and tombstone graphics. It has won 12 Monster Jam World Finals championships and has a loyal fan base. It has also spawned a team of other Grave Digger trucks driven by different drivers.
Maximum Destruction (Max-D): One of the most innovative and aggressive monster trucks, created by Tom Meents in 2003. It is known for its spiked body, orange and silver paint scheme, and flamethrower exhausts. It has won 11 Monster Jam World Finals championships and has performed many daring stunts, such as double backflips, corkscrews, and bicycle tricks.
Son-uva Digger: One of the newest and fastest rising monster trucks, created by Ryan Anderson in 2011. It is the son of Grave Digger and features a similar paint scheme and graphics, but with blue instead of green. It has won four Monster Jam World Finals championships and has impressed fans with its speed and style.